Pubic lice are tiny insects that live on the skin and are often referred to as "crabs". They tend to infest hairy parts of the body, such as the pubic area or under the arms.
Signs and symptoms
- Itching in the infected areas
- It may be possible to see droppings from the lice in underwear (black powder) a
- Brown eggs on pubic or other hair.
- It is sometimes possible to see lice on the skin.
- Irritation and inflammation of the affected area, usually caused by scratching.
- Sky-blue spots, or very tiny specks of blood on the skin.
How do you get them?
- Pubic lice are transmitted by close body or sexual contact.
- Occasionally they may be transferred by sharing sheets or towels that have been used by someone with pubic lice.
Testing and treatment
A doctor or nurse can usually diagnose pubic lice just by looking.
You can get rid of them by using a special shampoo or lotion - They can prescribe this or you can buy it from any Chemist's, brand names include Quellada, Derbac, Prioderm and Lyclear.
You should wash your clothes and bedding on a high temperature wash to avoid re-infection.